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Around the Farm: April 5, 2014

Around the Farm: April 5, 2014
Claudio Bautista (Photo: Captains)
April 6, 2014
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Claudio Bautista (Lake County - Game 1, 2B) - 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI - Bautista had a truly stellar offensive showing in game 1 of the day's doubleheader (the only originally scheduled one of the three in the system on the day) against Lansing at Classic Park in Eastlake.  The most important part of his effort came in the bottom of third inning, when his three-run home run sparked a comeback from what seemed to be an impossible deficit after a disastrous top of the inning.

Jordan Milbrath (Lake County - Game 2, SP) - W (1-0), 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K - I was in Eastlake for Saturday afternoon's doubleheader and witnessed this masterpiece of a spot start in person.  While Ben Heller was warming up during the top of the seventh inning as Jordan's pitch count was into the 70s and his pitch limit was likely near, anybody who saw him dominate the Classic Park mound like he held legal title to it knew that he wasn't coming off that mound short of his arm falling off.  However, if you hear too many more than a hundred of those "anybodys", someone is likely lying.  To say that the park cleared out between the two games is an understatement, to say the least.

  • Jesus Aguilar (Columbus - Game 1, 1B) - 2-3, Aguilar increased his batting average on the young season to .500 with this multi-hit effort.
  • Justin Sellers (Columbus - Game 1, SS) - 0-1, 2 BB - Sellers shows solid plate discipline and gets on base two times out of three plate appearances.
  • Josh Tomlin (Columbus - Game 1, SP) - L (0-1), 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R (all earned), 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR allowed - Another Tribe farmhand with a rough first start of the season.  Again, it's early, don't panic (I say this to remind myself as much as anyone else).
  • Justin Sellers (Columbus - Game 2, SS) - 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E - The top performers from the first game of the doubleheader at Huntington Park continued their form in the second game, with Sellers adding solid hitting to his good eye at the plate.
  • Jesus Aguilar (Columbus - Game 2, DH) - 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K - Just like Sellers, Aguilar also continued to perform well at the plate in the second game of the day.  The RBI Machine also opened his 2014 account with a first inning double that scored David Cooper.
  • Mike Zagurski (Columbus - Game 2, RP) - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (all earned), 5 BB, 2 K - While starter Brett Brachwas tagged with the loss as the Captains were playing catch up for most of the game, it was Zagurski who was truly responsible for the Clippers loss in game 2.  Once again , I caution readers not to read too much into this one performance as it still very early into the minor league season, but 5 walks?
  • Francisco Lindor (Akron - Game 1, SS) - 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K - Francisco seems to have finally shaken off the rust from Goodyear and begun playing up to the potential that has excited Tribe fans and prospect watchers throughout baseball.  Hopefully, we don't see any more of his spring form for a long time.
  • Joe Colon (Akron  - Game 1, SP) - L (0-1), 4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R (all earned), 3 BB, 5 K - Another rough first outing for a Tribe minor league starting pitcher.  While it is early, it is disconcerting to see many pitchers struggling in their first start.
  • Toru Murata (Akron - Game 2 - SP) - W (1-0), 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP - The story of Akron's second game of the day in Binghamton was good news on the pitching front, starting with Toru's dominant spot start.
  • Kyle Crockett (Akron - Game 2, RP) - H (1), 1 IP, perfect - The good performances from the mound continued with Kyle's perfect sixth innning to pick up the hold.
  • Enosil Tejeda (Akron - Game 2, CP) - 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K - Tejeda wraps up a combined four-hit shutout by getting the last three outs of the game via strikeout for the save.
  • Erik Gonzalez (Carolina, SS) - 2-4, 2 K - Erik had the lone multi-hit night for the Mudcats in their 3-1 win over the Potomac Nationals.
  • Charlie Valerio (Carolina, 1B) - 0-2, 2 BB, 1 K - Another case of a batter who wasn't hitting well using plate discipline to get on base.
  • Ryan Merritt (Carolina, SP) - W (1-0), 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K - Another solid first-start outing as Merritt makes it easy for the 'Cats offense to produce a win on the day.  If only more guys in the system could have started their season this way.
  • Louis Head (Carolina, CP) - S (2), 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K - Louis is racking up the saves quickly early in this season.  He has already saved more games than the Columbus Clippers have won.
  • Caleb Hamrick (Lake County - Game 1, SP) - 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R (all earned), 2 BB, 3 K.  Most of this outing wasn't as bad as the line looks, but the third inning was, as I pointed out above in the item on Bautista's performance in twin bill's opener, a disaster.  I would post pitch count info for this outing, but the numbers from my scorecard are extremely approximate at best as the main scoreboard at Classic Park fell victim to a power surge and I somehow (I blame brain freeze from attending three baseball games in two days in April) didn't think to check the auxiliary scoreboards down the baselines for ball/strike counts until the top of the third inning.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (Lake County - Game 2, 1B) - 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K - A multi-hit ballgame for Nellie-Rod in the second game of the the doubleheader.
  • Cody Ferrell (Lake County - Game 2, CF) - 2-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB - Cody Ferrell has a stellar nightcap offensively combining some pop with good speed on the the basepaths.

User Comments

Roger
April 6, 2014 - 3:50 PM EDT
Tony,
i know mauer hasnt been the twins catcher since cy young it just seems like it but he has never been built like a catcher.
Announcers act lie kurt suzuki is small as catcher and he looks small so did the yankee catcher posada. Yet i checked BAseball America and suzuki is listed as 5/11 205. I mention this because i look at Mejia listed ht and wt and he is listed as 5/10 175 what is his actual size tony?
Tony
April 6, 2014 - 10:54 AM EDT
Yep, nice outing from Mathews indeed and I hope for good things from him this year. As a note, and we seem to always have this come up at the start of the year.....is ATF highlights 12-15 or so guys from the previous night. It is not always about who did the best, who did the worst, or who did anything notable. With as many as 50 or so players in action on a given night, only a handful are highlighted and as a result some guys are not mentioned. When the short season leagues kick up in June it gets even tougher. The goal is to discuss 3-4 players from each team a night.
Hiram
April 6, 2014 - 10:44 AM EDT
Good point, Indiansfan and I totally agree. I did ask Tony about him
IndiansFan
April 6, 2014 - 10:40 AM EDT
Why no mention of Mathews in Game 1? He threw extremely well and held the Lugnuts off for the remaining 3 innings. It allowed us time to score, take the lead and get the win. He was fantastic!! Bright future for Mathews. More outings like this and he will be moving up!!! I'm a fan!!!!
Hiram
April 6, 2014 - 10:29 AM EDT
Thanks Again Tony.

I'm going to follow Plutko's outing today. Bauer was impressive too
Tony
April 6, 2014 - 10:25 AM EDT
It's still very early to take anything good or bad from any performances.....so right now you just are happy with good starts and hopeful bad starts are corrected. I did not see the Indians game yesterday as I am in Carolina, but I am encouraged by the 2-7 walk to strikeout ratio in 5.2 innings from Carrasco yesterday. If he finds a way to get around or more than a strikeout an inning, he's going to be just fine. On the surface, I like his outing more than Salazar's.
Hiram
April 6, 2014 - 10:20 AM EDT
Thank you Tony.

I see Naquin is off to a good start too. It must be some validity to what he said when he mentioned that he changed his approach at the plate. You can put him in that group too. If these guys continue to develop the Indians are going to have some really nice pieces to use as trade bait like Wendle, Ramirez, Smith and others. I'm doing my homework on the June draft in which the Indians have five picks(21, 31, 38, 62 99) in the top 100.

What was your opinion of Carrasco yesterday??
Tony
April 6, 2014 - 10:16 AM EDT
Sure, but that happens to most teams every few years if they have prospects that develop and get to the big leagues. It is important for a few of their higher upside players like Yandy Diaz, Yu-Chen Chang, Leandro Linares, Clint Frazier, Francisco Mejia and others to develop this season....and for a lot of the last two draft classes to do so as well. And of course, with three first round picks, there could be a new group of high upside guys here soon.
Hiram
April 6, 2014 - 10:12 AM EDT
Tony,

Do you expect the farm system to take a major hit as early as next year when Bauer, Lindor,, Aguilar, Moncrief, Lee, Crockett are all possibly promoted to the Big League team??
Hiram
April 6, 2014 - 9:59 AM EDT
Good to see Aguilar playing well. I think he can be a big factor if he progresses.
Tony
April 6, 2014 - 9:54 AM EDT
Encouraging first outing for Milbrath. A guy I have talked about a few times over the last six months as a sleeper and someone who the organization loves and believes has some upside. He's very inexperienced, so I would be surprised if he moved up.....there are going to be some hiccups along the way. Looks like a guy who will be in Lake County all year unless he really surprises and is very consistent every time out and by the All Star break is proving he needs a higher challenge in Carolina. He won't be treated as a college guy though, more a high school guy because of that inexperience factor and how he is still being molded.
Walter
April 6, 2014 - 9:25 AM EDT
It was a 3 M day for Indians minor league pitchers who turned excellent starting pitching outings. Milbrath, Merritt, and Murata. Also on another M pitched good out of the pen in game 1 for LC in Kenny Mathews.

If Milbrath continues to perform like he did yesterday Carolina could be on the horizon. I think any of the college experienced pitchers in LC has a chance to move up to the Mudcats sometime this year.

Names like Plutko, Kime, Frank, Heller, Milbrath, Mathews and Whitehouse.

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